Mages consider themselves to be the true masters of the Spiritual Powers of Magic. While this may not exactly be the truth, they are adept at wielding Spiritual forces to magnificent and deadly effect. They are often viewed with a mixture of fear, awe, and mistrust by those less gifted in the Spiritual arts. Highly prized by some, Mages are among the most learned men and women in the Realm of Strife, spending countless hours in the pursuit of knowledge—not just of the Spiritual Arts, but also the world at large. As with all things, they tend to approach the mysteries of the Spiritual powers from a purely academic standpoint,devoting their entire lives to its study and mastery. This is time intensive but it yields results; Mages master spells far quicker than other practitioners of the Spiritual Arts. With so much time spent training their minds, they have little time to train their bodies and tend to be weak in stature. What they lack in stamina, they make up for in raw power.
Whether a mastery of magic has given them a healthy respect for its power or a deep seated fear that others could master it too, Mages follow strict laws with regards to Spiritual Powers and enforce those laws whenever and wherever possible. One of the most basic tenants of those laws is that a Mage may only ever focus their efforts on mastering a single form of magic, also known as a School of Spiritual Powers. While this law is considered restrictive by some, most Mages—and in fact even other practitioners of the Spiritual Arts—tend to obey the law. To fail to do so would incur the attention of powerful forces best left unmentioned. Yet some choose to live outside of these laws. Known as Renegades, these mages have access to powers that are seldom seen working in concert. Some rumors say they could grow to become more powerful than any single School of Spirit Powers could ever dream. Choosing that path has its cost; few Renegade mages live long enough to challenge the laws and prove the rumors correct.
Typical Roles: Support/Utility, Ranged Damage
Damage Types: Spirit (Arcane, Elemental, Natural)
Class Mechanic: Spirit
Available Races: High Elf, Wild Elf, Gnome, Halfling, Human, Half-Elf, Half-Orc
Initial Gold: varies by race from 142.5 to 240
During Character Creation you may choose to use the Default Stat Line, before racial modifiers, instead of rolling for stats, or if after rolling ten sets of stats you don’t like the results
Natural Armor Proficiency: Cloth
Trainable Armor Proficiency: None
Natural Weapon Proficiency: Knives, Staves, Wands
Trainable Weapon Proficiency: Whips
See Equipment section for details. When using a weapon that your class is not proficient with, see Combat Penalties. There is no level or title prerequisite to train in a new proficiency, however you must receive the appropriate Training.
Primary Skills: Spirit
Dedicated School of Magic
While every Mage possesses some innate or natural skill in magic, their skills are learned and developed though intensive training and formalized schooling. As such all Mages begin their schooling in Common Arcane magic, learning and wielding this School of Magic exclusively for the duration of Tier 1 powers.
Upon advancing to Tier 2 and beyond, Mages must dedicate themselves to a particular School of Magic for the remainder of their lifetime, or risk breaking the Laws of Magic and being labelled a Renegade. Though this system can be seen as restrictive, it also has its benefits. Unlike other practitioners of the spiritual arts, Mages are permitted to retain all Tier 1 Common powers throughout their career, regardless of which School they belong to, while simultaneously being granted access to Tier 1 powers of their chosen School as well.
The academic approach to learning new powers is utilized by Mages, Battlemages, and Wizards. In order to use the Academic method the Mage must have access to the appropriate Tier and School of the power, through their Mage College or choose the path of an outlaw (renegade or sorcerer). Either way, the Mage must then proceed though the following procedure:
- First the caster must find, purchase, or be given a scroll or text for that selected power. Scrolls are often awarded to students of the spiritual arts by their masters, in exchange for the completion of tasks or errands. Colleges also retain extensive libraries of source material that can be utilized, with permission of course.
- Then the caster must attempt to cast the power by consuming the scroll AND expending the Spirit cost.
- Next the caster must pass an Intellect test at -1 Disadvantage per Tier of the power they are attempting to learn.
- If failing: The scroll is destroyed and any damage and/or negative effects are inflicted on the caster or on a nearby (unintended) target.
- If succeeding: The power works as intended and is now available in the memory of the caster, and can now be used at will while it remains in the caster’s memory.
Alternately, if the power is taught by a Mage of the appropriate Title/rank (aka Spirit Teacher), no scroll is required and any failure is contained by the teacher.
Personal Spell Book
Personal Spell Books are used by Mages, Battlemages, and Wizards. While they may vary greatly in size and complexity, they remain the personal property of the Spirit user and typically cannot be read by anyone other than their owner, sometimes even driving an unauthorized reader mad. These casters use their Spirit Books as a means of simplifying the process of re-learning and over-writing powers currently in their memory. So long as a power is recorded in the caster’s Spirit Book, the Tier 0 power ‘Memorize Power’ can be used to successfully return a power to memory from the Spell Book without having to go through the process of learning the power (as outlined in the previous section). All rolls and requirements are waived. See the description of ‘Memorize Power’ in the Spirit Powers section for details on the frequency at which it can be cast.
Essentially this allows Mages, Battlemages, and Wizards to learn as many powers as they desire for the task at hand while using a Spell Book to store excess powers without having to re-learn them. Spell Books can store as many powers as there are pages available, where the number of pages required for a given power is equal to the tier of the power. To transcribe a power to a Spell Book the caster must have at least Rank1 Scholar (secondary skill). Transcribing takes a half rest and takes one known power from memory and permanently records it in the Spirit Book. Under no circumstances can Spell Books be used to directly cast powers. With the exception of Tier 0 powers, only powers stored in memory may be cast.
Incantation: Mage Tongue
In order to actually cast any of their powers, a Mage, Battlemage, or Wizard must speak out a memorized incantation while picturing the substance and form of the spell in their mind. This must be paired with a casting gesture of some kind to set the spell into motion (see Methods of Casting).
For mages, this incantation is usually a long form spoken aloud in fanciful, ancient, or otherwise obscure dialects. This is sometimes referred to as the Mage tongue, and though unnecessarily elaborate, mages pride themselves on the elegance of their craft. Equally elaborate are the casting gestures that accompany the incantations as a required component, typically made with delicate and precise movements of the fingers one or both hands. For more powerful spells, these gestures may also include movements of the mages arms or entire upper body, to further demonstrate how skilled they must be to cast a particular power.
Mages use the following chart for leveling up:
- Add bonus spirit gain from intellect bonuses if applicable
- Max Spirit Powers Known does not include Tier 0 powers
- Leveling up only increases the capacity for known Spirit Powers, to actually learn new powers see Learning New Spirit Powers for details
Specializations are recommended for advanced players only, and are accomplished through the Secondary Skill system (see Specialist Skills). Mages may choose to specialize their skills in up to one weapon use and/or two spirit studies, but can not have more than two specializations in total.
- Max one Weapon Specialist skill (choose from: Knives, Staves, Wands, Whips)
- Max two Spirit Specialist skills (choose from: Devastation, Destruction, Conjuration, Alteration, Fortification)
Mages gain titles based on the prescribed promotions of their superiors at an institution dedicated to a particular School of Spirit Powers, also known as a Mage College.
Colleges of Magic are wondrous towers or keeps, constructed to act as centers of learning where the vast majority of mages live, study, and congregate. More than just an academic institution, Mage Colleges govern and restrict the flow of information available to practitioners of the spiritual arts. It is also the teachers and masters at the Mage Colleges that determine when a young apprentice is ready to be promoted and allowed access to increasingly potent Spirit powers.
According to their laws and regulations a Mage College may only represent a single School of Magic. However in a given region, such as a continent, there can be several Colleges representing the same School of Spiritual Power. Every College is run by a Headmaster, but placed above even the headmasters are extremely powerful Archmages. One Archmage governs each of the Schools of Spiritual Powers present in a region. Therefore, regardless of the total number of Colleges, the maximum number of Archmages that can exist in a given region is nine, one for each School of Spirit Powers. Each Mage College is largely independent of the others, though sometimes they work together to deal with threats to the strict regulations regarding their powers.
Some Mage Colleges will maintain small outposts or satellite colleges as a means of extending their influence or reach beyond the walls of the College. This often occurs when a specific area that is some distance away becomes of particular interest to a College for research projects.
The standard College based title ups for Mages are as follows:
|Title||Level||Qualifications||Rewards & Consequences|
|Apprentice||1||find an undermage or higher to sponsor you||Tier 1 Powers can memorize +1 spirit power Spirit Echo (passive)|
|Entered Apprentice||3||find a master mage or higher to sponsor you join a particular college of magic||Tier 2 Powers +2 hit w/ spirit powers can memorize +1 spirit power|
|Apprentice Adept||5||find a master mage or higher to sponsor you prove that you are an especially skilled, respected, or trustworthy apprentice||Tier 3 Powers +2 hit w/ spirit powers can memorize +1 spirit power +1 Academic Secondary Skill Point|
|Undermage||8||find a head master or higher to sponsor you pass a mage test||Tier 4 Powers +6 hit w/ spirit powers can memorize +1 spirit power Volatile Magic (passive) may take an apprentice|
|Master Mage||12||find a head master or higher to sponsor you pass a mage test||Tier 5 Powers +5 hit w/ spirit powers can memorize +1 spirit power may take multiple apprentices may teach at a Mage College|
|Head Master||15||appointed by a council of headmasters or the arch mage must pass a mage test must have spent time teaching at a Mage College||Tier 6 Powers +3 hit w/ spirit powers can memorize +1 spirit power MUST headmaster a college|
|Archmage||17||defeat the Archmage associated with your college and strip them of their power only one known Archmage for each School of Spirit Powers||Tier 7 Powers may learn Ultimate spirit powers where applicable +2 hit w/ spirit powers can memorize +1 spirit power authority over one or more colleges of the same type can appoint head masters directly (over ruling council of headmasters)|
A Sorcerer (or Sorceress if female) is a Mage or Battlemage that still adheres to the most basic laws of magic, to use only a Single School of Spiritual Powers, but simply chooses to advance their knowledge outside of the confines of a College. While not a direct threat to the Colleges, they are still looked down upon and monitored to ensure they do not step outside laws of magic. Provided they maintain a low profile and do not directly contravene the laws of Magic, the Mage Wardens generally leave Sorcerer’s to their own devices.
Some self styled mages find the rules and regulations of the Colleges far too strict, seeing the authority of Head Masters, Archmages, and their like as nothing more than a shield to hide behind, preventing other Spirit users from being able to rival their power. This is a dangerous, albeit rewarding outlawed path for a Mage to follow as Renegades are free to learn powers from any and all of the Schools of Spirit powers. This opens up the door to potentially devastating combinations of powers that normal mages would never be able to wield.
In the rare occasion that a lower level renegade Maage is discovered to be ignorant of the existence of the laws of magic, whatever the motives or reasoning may have been, they are given one chance to join a College, forsaking any forbidden knowledge and coming into the fold. If they refuse they rarely escape with their mind intact, for if need be Mage Wardens will use an invasive and destructive method to burn all Spiritual Knowledge from their minds.
Higher level renegades are seldom even afforded this small mercy. They will be actively hunted all their days, and usually perish in combat with the Mage Wardens. Yet for some this is a reasonable price to pay for unrestrained access to the immense powers of the Spirit world, holding to the ambitious hope of surviving long enough to become more powerful that the combined might of the Mage Wardens. If a renegade ever were able to reach that level of power they would be almost unstoppable, and certainly more than a match for any single Archmage in a mage duel, due to the vast array of powers available to them. As such, the Colleges are ever vigilant to ensure this never happens.
|Outlaw Title||Qualifications||Rewards & Consequences|
|Sorcerer||Follow a single School of Spirit powers, but do so outside of the control or confines of a Mage College (could be intentional or out of ignorance)||Gain Tiers at the minimum level requirement for non-outlawed titles retain any other title rewards gained prior to becoming a Sorcerer|
|Renegade||Rejection or ignorance of the authority of the Mage Colleges Learning powers from multiple schools||Gain Tiers at the minimum level requirement for non-outlawed titles retain any other title rewards gained prior to becoming a Renegade may learn powers from any School of Spirit Powers will be relentlessly hunted by the Mage Wardens|
For a list of Colleges of Magic located on the continent of Gant see Colleges of Magic (Gant)
For information regarding Colleges of Magic located on the Continent of Norlanin see The Continent of Norlanin, Organizations throughout, Colleges.
Sarasith of the Starspire
High Elven Celestial Mage, Hero of the War of the Twin Terrors, assumed dead at the hands of the Shade of Deathlord Archibald, at the Battle of Necrodark
After drifting in and out of vague and convoluted dreams for what seems like an eternity, Sarasith awakens, sure that he has just heard someone call his name. However he is greeted only by an eerie silence and soft grey light, emanating from all around him. Observing his surroundings he finds himself in a large circular room, devoid of any windows, doors or furnishings, save for the large slab upon which he lays. The slab seems to be made of polished granite, streaked with veins of silver amethyst, matching the floor, walls, and ceiling all around him. It seems familiar, yet foreign at the same time.
As he slowly and tentatively rises from the slab he inspects his person. He is clothed in the same enchanted robes that he last remembers wearing, in what’s seems like another life, one not his own. But unlike that past life his body bears none of its defects, his face is unmarred, his body unbroken, and even his missing leg seems to have return to its rightful place.
As he stands to his feet, his body seems unsure of itself, as though it no longer remembers how to stand on two legs of flesh and bone. Sarasith stumbles and suddenly finds himself wishing he had his staff to lean on. As though the very thought has conjured it into existence his staff appears in his hands and he prevents himself from falling at the last moment by leaning on its comforting presence. As the fog recedes from his thoughts and his wits return to him, he is left with a singular thought.
“Where am I?”
-A excerpt from “Sarasith Reprised”